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6 Ways to Support Your Aging Brain

The brain is an amazing thing. For our entire lives, it constantly sends electrical signals and messages that form trillions of neural pathways in the brain.

But imagine that those pathways are just like the streets and highways that connect cities and states. Streets along older routes become damaged and may or may not be repaired. Some roadways may wash away or shut down completely.

When you apply this concept to your brain, you can see why memory may begin to fail as we age.

Eat Nuts for Memory and Cognition

I like nuts. They’re loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients that fuel your body and protect against disease.

Nuts are especially good for your gut microbiome. That’s because they contain prebiotic compounds that support the growth of healthy gut bacteria. And what’s good for your gut is good for your entire body.

Nuts protect against cardiovascular disease, the development of type 2 diabetes and help control blood sugar. They’re great for fighting off dementia and Alzheimer’s. They battle cancer. And, despite the fact that many people believe they are fattening, they actually help people lose weight.

Is Your Gut the Key to Weight Loss?

There are many things that influence your ability to lose weight, and you know what most of them are. Getting plenty of physical activity. Avoiding fattening processed foods and sugars. Eating your fruits and veggies. These changes take time and effort, but they pay off in the long run.

But there’s another factor I’ll bet you haven’t heard about. And it might just play a big role when it comes to your ability to drop weight and fight obesity.

I’m talking about your gut bacteria, what we call the “gut microbiome.”

Do Cold and Cough Medications Work?

If you catch a cold this winter, you’ll probably find yourself standing in the cold-and-flu aisle at your local drugstore trying to figure out what to take. Do you need a decongestant, antihistamine, cough suppressant, or something else?

The thing is, nothing you take will actually cure a cold or shorten its duration. And, according to an expert panel at the journal Chest, none of those meds will make a cold-related cough less severe or make it go away faster, either.

So whether you take cough and cold medicines or not, a cold will generally run its course in seven to 10 days, and a typical cold-related cough can last three weeks or more.

The Surprising Effect of Antioxidants on Your Health

As an Advanced Natural Wellness reader, you know that chronic inflammation is the driving force behind aging and age-related disease. It’s an underlying contributor to heart disease, diabetes, stroke, arthritis, non-alcoholic fatty liver, kidney disease, cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, Alzheimer’s disease, premature aging and so much more!

Unlike acute inflammation – the kind of inflammation you see when a wound turns hot, red and painful – chronic inflammation is invisible. You can’t see it or feel it. This long-term inflammatory state just silently eats away at your health and well-being.

For the most part, you can blame it on oxidative stress. This is something that occurs when unstable oxygen molecules known as free radicals build up in the cells and aren’t eliminated by the body. When this happens, it plays a crucial role in the development and persistence of inflammation.

How Much Do Genetics Matter?

When it comes to health, people place a lot of emphasis on their family history. They think “Oh, geez. Dad and grandpa both died so young that I probably don’t have much time left.”

Well I have some great news for you. It turns out that genetics don’t play nearly as big a role in your lifespan as previously thought.

In the largest analysis of its kind, researchers analyzed 54.43 million family trees from Ancestry.com – including birth and death dates for 406 million people. And what did they discover?

Common Arthritis Treatments May Make It Worse

The use of corticosteroid injections for the treatment of osteoarthritis has been controversial for a long time. And there is a good reason for that.

While these injections may help relieve pain for a short while, they can actually worsen your arthritis. They damage bone and cartilage, cause rapid joint destruction, lead to stress fractures and may accelerate the need for joint replacement surgeries.

They also decrease immune system response and can affect blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.

What You Should Know About Smoothies

I love fresh fruits and vegetables. They’re loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that are good for my health… and yours.

Eating fresh, plant-based foods is one of the easiest ways to prevent cancer. These foods protect against high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and mental decline. They preserve your vision, prevent diabetes, keep you thin and support a healthy gut microbiota.

But there’s a problem. Here in the U.S., only one out of every 10 adults eat the recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables. This means 90% of adults are eating less than the current guidelines of 1½ to 2 cups of fruit per day and 2 to 3 cups of vegetables.

The Fake Foods that are Destroying Your Health

Grocery store shelves are loaded with row after row of canned, boxed, bagged and other packaged foods that are so over-processed that I hesitate to even call them food.

They fall into the category of “ultra-processed foods.” In addition to salt, sugar and fat, they contain a vast amount of artificial ingredients that would never be found in nature.

Some of the substances found in ultra-processed products include non-sugar sweeteners, color stabilizers, bulking agents, emulsifiers, flavor enhancers and all sorts of other additives. These ingredients are guaranteed to fatten you up while leaving you feeling weak and hungry.

How a Lack of Sleep Wrecks Your Health

As we get older our sleep patterns change. It just seems harder to get as much sleep as we used to. And it could be caused by any number of reasons.

One reason is that older adults sometimes produce less melatonin than they used to. This is the hormone that promotes sleep. So if you’re not producing enough of it, you’ll find it harder to fall asleep when you want to.

Another reason is that, once some people reach a certain age, they don’t go outdoors as much.  Reduced levels of bright sunlight during the day can mess up your circadian rhythm. It also depresses evening melatonin production even further.